What's New

The NET is continuing to build its endowment fund slowly over the years, and has yet to secure a national distribution system for collecting a loonie from every Canadian. It has broadened its mandate, however, from building critical infrastructure capacity in the environmental movement to now include engaging Canadians in the imperative conversations around critical social issues affecting the movement. This includes new funding models for non-government organizations in the social sector, to climate change adaptation and mitigation and is now looking to begin a series of on-line real-time e-Dialogues on biodiversity conservation. This is even more critical given the 2016 Living Planet Report recently released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) outlining the alarming loss of global biodiversity; it is clear we need to act now. For unlike other social-ecological challenges, there is no second chance with extinction.

New Infrastructure Project

The National Environmental Treasure (NET) is pleased to act as the fiscal sponsor for the #Go17 campaign. As a partnership between five Canadian and American foundations (Echo, Ivey, Schad, Viola, Wilburforce and Woodcock), their common focus as the “Outside Thinkers” is to commission and support communications initiatives that promote more environmentally conscientious ways of living on the planet.

In Canada, the goal of the #Go17 initiative is to create and implement a national communications campaign that builds public support for Canada’s governments (provincial, territorial, federal and Indigenous) to attain Canada’s Target 1 objectives (Aichi Target 11) by 2020. Aichi Target 11 requires that Canada increase its protection of landscape and freshwater systems to 17% by 2020. To date, the country has only increased its percentage from 10 to 10.7% putting it well behind all other G7 countries. However, the federal government, in partnership with the government of Alberta, publicly committed to achieving the 17% target by 2020 and has allocated CAN$1.3 billion in the 2018 federal.

Incredibly, few members of the public outside the ENGO community know anything about these monumental steps forward. There has been almost no public outreach to date. To address this issue, the #GO17 campaign will build both awareness of the Target 1 initiative and the value it brings to all Canadians. Looking beyond Target 1, the campaign will also challenge Canadians’ relationship with nature and ask them to consider supporting the protection of the nation’s crown lands at an unprecedented scale, and in different ways including, significantly, the designation of Indigenous Conserved and Protected Areas (IPCA’s).

For more detail about this initiative, check out our proposal to the Hewlett Foundation.

Biodiversity Conversations: How important are the common loon and polar bears to Canadians?

Led by Professor Ann Dale, Co-Chair of Women for Nature, and in partnership with Nature Canada, Changing the Conversation led an online curated series of real-time virtual e-Dialogues from September 2017-April 2018 responding to the critical imperative of biodiversity conservation for the 21st Century in Canada. This project aimed to raise civic awareness around critical questions and engagement around the importance of biodiversity. Why is it important to Canadians? What are the drivers and barriers for conservation? How important are Canadian icons such as the common loon and polar bears? What can we do individually and collectively to protect it?

Conserving our biodiversity is necessary for the integrity of ecosystem health but also integral to healthy human communities. The loss of keystone species can cause a cascading decline in ecosystems upon which we are dependent. By convening women leaders from diverse sectors from across the country to stimulate thinking, dialogue, and local action, we can identify discuss, and contextualize strategies to help inform decision-makers for changes in public policy.

Read the conversations here

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We encourage you to make a difference now by helping to build our trust. If every Canadian donated a loonie, think about what we could do.

We are the first not for profit environmental trust in Canada. Our goal is to keep building a long term trust fund for grassroots environmental initiatives aimed at raising public awareness, education and conservation. Each year, we embark on a nationwide funding drive. We ask that you join in the movement and help ensure a clean, healthy future for our children’s children, one loonie at a time.